Saturday, 3 December 2016
WARNING: NOT A RESTAURANT REVIEW
Just a heads up for all you fine people that are coming here for a restaurant review – you’re not going to find one here today, my darlings. I struggled internally with regard to the content of today’s post, but frankly, it’s my fucking blog, Sweethearts, and the rules are: there aint no rules.
You may have noticed that I’ve been visibly absent from here the past few months. I haven’t much felt like eating out, and even more so, I haven’t much felt like writing about food. Last week, The ‘Shwa lost a brilliant, funny, caring, aesthetically pleasing and delightful man to that unapologetic bitch who my family and friends know all too well at this point, - Glioblastoma Multiforme. She reaches in to the souls of the most incredibly loved and interesting people and destroys not only them, but everyone around them. She’s cold, she’s absolutely miserable and she strikes so quickly that it leaves most of us touched by her completely stunned.
Brian Wilkins had this giggle that was both mischievious and adorable. He had it ever since I met him in Grade Six at Sunset Heights Public School. We all lived in the same area of North Oshawa, tucked away on the other side of the Oshawa Creek from the Airport. My parents initially tried to make my brother and I into good little Catholics by sending us to St. Joseph’s at Simcoe St., but all the other kids in the neighbourhood went to Sunset, so when my brother decided on OCVI for his higschool career, I begged my Mom and Dad to let me switch to Sunset for grades six, seven and eight. My cousin, Zenon, who was (and, incredibly, still is) the same age as I was, had been a student at Sunset Heights for his entire tenure at elementary school, so at least I had a friend in my class. Brian and Zenon were best friends at this point, and along with about six or seven other girls and boys, we naturally formed a tight circle of friends that remain tight to this day. We smoked our first cigarettes together, we went to our first boy-girl parties together, we studied hard together, we all went to highschool together, we drank beer together. We kept in touch throughout University and our first real jobs. We all had kids around the same time and we all managed to get together once in a while to talk about how old we were getting. We all just celebrated our 40th birthdays this year…..
I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say with this blog entry, so bare with me. Brian got diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer called Glioblastoma earlier this year. I call bullshit on the “rare” part of it because I lost my one and only brother to this DISGUSTING disease last year. And an old friend of mine, Imants Krummins, lost his fight to Glioblastoma in 2011. Three people that I know. Another friend of mine lost her step-dad to Glioblastoma earlier this year as well. One of my closest friends just found out her Grandfather was diagnosed. I’d say that I’ve known more people that have been diagnosed with Glioblastoma than any other form of cancer. But obviously that’s just me.
Going to visit Brian in the hospital brought back a lot of things for me. My brother was in the hospital for over six weeks just before he died. And my poor mom (who had lost her beloved husband – my father - a few years before her only son was diagnosed with this fucking asshole disease) lost her will to live and ended up in the hospital for over seven weeks only two months after my brother died. Walking into Brian’s room and seeing his mom and brother and wife and aunts and uncles made me so sad for everyone. For all of us. It’s a sad time. I hope all of Bri’s family and friends get through this ok.
After Brian’s memorial service on Monday, a bunch of us from Sunset and OCVI went out to pour our hearts into our beers and remember our dear friend. If one thing came out of this for me, it’s how lucky I am to have these people in my life. I love them with all my heart.
I’ll be back up and at ‘em with regard to the restaurant reviews soon because I love eating and I love writing. I especially love writing about things that I’m eating.
My friends and I will be doing the Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer again this year where we ride our bikes from Toronto to Niagara Falls to raise money for Princess Margaret Hospital. Having a bruised vagina for a week afterward is nothing compared to the shit that cancer patients and their families have to go through.
We need to find a cure for this thing soon.
We’ll be riding for Wilkie this year.
Bri and me at Zenon's wedding in San Diego, 2003.
Imants and I - 2004
My brother and I a few years ago.
My son, Zenon (named after my cousin) and my brother, T.J.
Sunset Heights Crew a year ago - Me, Mike, Laura and Bri.
Me and Brian, Grade 8 Graduation from Sunset Heights.
OCVI Class o' 95 - Bri, Laura, Julie, Kayle, Me, Jay & Mike.